The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) hosted a conference in Hungary yesterday, involving officials from 33 countries, in order to look at the achievements of the agency in 2016, whilst also looking ahead to challenges for EU security, according to a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal today.
Prof. Ferenc Bánfi explained how CEPOL contributed to a safer Europe through training, with a special emphasis on tackling pressing security issues such as terrorism, illegal migration, cyber crime and drug trafficking.
CEPOL has worked closely with EU member states (mainly via dedicated CEPOL national units), countries in Eastern and South-East Europe, Middle East and North Africa, justice and home affairs agencies and international organizations such as Interpol, OSCE and UNODC to create a portfolio of activities that support EU political priorities in terms of security, according to the press statement. This demonstrated the growing importance of external relations within CEPOL’s new legal mandate, and the high level of CEPOL’s appreciation at a global level, the organization says.
In 2016, CEPOL reached new records in terms of participation: more than 18,000 officials from 39 countries were trained during 87 residential activities, 492 exchanges, 87 webinars and other e-learning tools.
Gábor Zupkó, head of the European Commission Representation to Hungary, congratulated CEPOL on its achievements. He emphasised the need for EU member states to work more closely together on two issues: economic innovation and security. He highlighted the fact that Hungary hosts two EU agencies – the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) and the European Institute for Innovation (EIT) – that are active in both these fields, which gives Hungary a strategic position at EU level. Moreover, he announced the future visit to Hungary of Sir Julian King, EU Commissioner for Security Union, to discuss EU security issues.
János Szacsúri, head of department at the Hungarian Ministry of Interior, praised the good cooperation with CEPOL. He underlined that Hungary has a long tradition in law enforcement training and declared that, in this respect, it was the right decision to move CEPOL to Budapest, especially in light of the achievements of the agency since 2014. He reaffirmed that Hungary will continue to support CEPOL in its work to make Europe safer.
Hungarian officials attending the event included high-level representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, the national police, the National University of Public Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Prime Minister’s Office.